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Osage Orange

Osage Orange
Maclura pomifera
(Order Rosales; Family Moraceae)


Diagnosis: This tree species can grow to a height of 25-30 feet. It has alternating leaves that are two to three inches wide, and three to five inches long. There are thorny spikes on the branches. The male flowers of the osage orange are yellow clusters, and the female flowers are one inch diameter round balls. Its bark is thick with deep furrows. The fruit is spherical and yellowish-green with a corky rind measuring 6-15 cm in diameter (August-September). 

Flowering Period: April, May, and June

Habitat: Prairie, plains, meadows, pastures, savannahs, woodland edge, ditches, ravines, depression. Frequently planted as hedgerow and shelter belt. 

Conservation Status: Not threatened

Native Status:  Native to the United States and Canada

Distribution: The Osage Orange tree is found mostly in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma along the Red River drainage area. It is adventive (one that has arrived in the geographical area specified from somewhere else) in Kansas and the Great Plains.

Great Plains Nature Center:

Native Plant Database:

Lechowicz, Martin J. "Seasonality of flowering and fruiting in temperate forest tree." Canadian Journal of Botany. 73. (1995): 175-182.

Smith, Jeffrey L., and Janice V. Perino. "Osage orange (Maclura pomifera): History and economic uses." Biomedical and Life Sciences 35.1 (1981): 24-41.

Image Credits:
Maclura pomifera Photos by Erica Kuhlman, July 2011


Submitted by: Erica Kuhlman, July 2011

Wichita State University
Generated on 2011. This website is continuously updated.
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